Vanguard Pharmacy Limited, a prominent and rapidly expanding retail company in the South-West Region of Nigeria, with its headquarters situated in Monatan-Iwo Road, Ibadan – the largest city in West Africa, has achieved a significant milestone by inaugurating its tenth location. Commencing operations in Ibadan in 2006, the company was founded by Pharm. Taofik Odukoya and Mrs. Kawthar Bolajoko Odukoya who continue to be at the helm as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, respectively.
Renowned for its leadership in retail pharmacy, veterinary services, supermarkets, and bakery offerings, Vanguard Pharmacy Limited is recognized for housing the most extensive variety under a single roof. The company’s innovative business model, known as the “One Stop Shop,” provides a distinct competitive advantage, complemented by a delightful shopping ambience and customer experience.
In line with the company’s mission to “create smart health benefits for people to succeed and thrive” and its ambitious objective to become a national and West African retail chain store, Vanguard Pharmacy Limited has unveiled another Mega Shopping Centre. This milestone marks the 10th location, the second in Osogbo, specifically situated in the Powerline area along Osogbo-Ikirun Road.
In a commendable move hailed by the Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Prof. Odunayo Clement Adebooye, Vanguard Pharmacy’s management has been lauded for its commitment to opening a new branch in the heart of Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, despite the prevailing brain drain crisis in the country.
The opening ceremony of the second branch in Osun State and the 10th nationwide took place recently at the popular Powerline area in Osogbo. Prof. Adebooye, a distinguished professor of Plant Physiology and Food Chemistry, expressed appreciation for the visionary efforts of Pharm. Taofik Oladipupo Odukoya and Mrs. Kawthar Bolajoko Odukoya, the CEO and executive director, respectively, for their confidence in Nigeria despite the challenging economic conditions.
Addressing the gathering, Prof. Adebooye emphasized the critical role of equipping the youth with industry-oriented skills aligned with international standards as a solution to the prevailing challenge of youth unemployment in Nigeria. He noted that prudent financial management, as demonstrated by the Odukoyas, is essential for the sustained success of businesses, highlighting the dangers of premature celebrations in the early stages of a venture.
He remarked, “I want to appreciate the couple for this enterprise. I do say at a time that the university is a place for the introduction of propagation of knowledge. What an entrepreneur is taught in school is how to produce people who will be managers in the business. The Odukoyas have seen the good side of this business and they saw where people make progress in this business.”
Corroborating the sentiments of the UNIOSUN Vice-Chancellor, Pharm. Kamordeen Bankole, Chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Osun State branch, and Pharm. Kayode Joseph Atere, a state officer of the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN), commended the founders of Vanguard Pharmacy for their commitment to quality and meeting the required standards in the establishment of the new branch.
The primary objective of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), as highlighted by Atere, is to oversee the proper regulation and sanitation of pharmaceutical premises. The organization is dedicated to ensuring that drugs available to the public meet high-quality standards and are free from adulteration. Atere expressed confidence in the capabilities of Vanguard Pharmacy to uphold these standards.
A key responsibility of the PCN is to assist pharmacies, including Vanguard Pharmacy, in meeting their therapeutic requirements. Atere emphasized that the PCN acts as a regulator by conducting regular monitoring exercises to ensure compliance with established guidelines, promoting adherence to good pharmaceutical practices.
Atere further conveyed a strong assurance, citing Vanguard Pharmacy as a reputable and established brand with a history of maintaining integrity over the years. He expressed certainty that any pharmaceutical product obtained from this outlet is of superior quality, reinforcing the trust in Vanguard Pharmacy’s ability to deliver.
In an earlier statement, Pharmacist Odukoya highlighted the significance of the opening of Vanguard Pharmacy’s second store in Osogbo, marking its 10th nationwide. This expansion is viewed not only as an extension of their geographical reach but also as a testament to their unwavering dedication to providing exceptional healthcare services to the people of Osun and Nigeria at large.
Odukoya emphasized the commitment of Vanguard Pharmacy to fostering a culture of intrapreneurship, empowering their personnel to contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of the nation. The opening of the new pharmacy store is seen as a strategic move aligning with their broader mission of enhancing healthcare accessibility and quality across the country.
He identified the adverse impact of multiple tax regimes, an unpredictable forex policy, and high-interest rates on the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria. Urging government intervention to address these challenges and called for policies that support entrepreneurship and business growth.
Addressing government officials, Odukoya acknowledged the complexities of leadership and humbly sought their support in implementing measures conducive to entrepreneurship and business expansion. The statement emphasized the need for addressing micro and macro-economic factors hindering progress, including exchange rate fluctuations, high-interest rates, and multiple taxation regimes.
He highlighted Vanguard Pharmacy’s milestone of opening its tenth branch in Nigeria within 17 years, noting the creation of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. The expansion is seen as a driver of economic activities across various states in the country.
Reflecting on Vanguard Pharmacy’s journey since its inception in 2006, Odukoya noted the transformation from a small 30-square meter space in Ibadan to a thriving chain of pharmacies, veterinary services, supermarkets, and bakeries spanning the south-western region of Nigeria. The opening of the Powerline, Osogbo branch, was specifically mentioned stating that the direct employment by Vanguard Pharmacy has now surpassed 400 individuals.
The commitment to fostering a culture of intrapreneurship and empowering personnel to contribute to the economic growth of the nation was reiterated in the statement. Vanguard Pharmacy expressed pride in its track record of excellence, innovation, and customer-centricity, underlining its dedication to playing a significant role in job creation and economic development in Nigeria.
Similarly, Mrs. Odukoya, co-founder and executive director of Vanguard Pharmacy, expressed her delight at the achieved success, affirming that the Vanguard Brand is indeed meeting the expectations set by its founders.
Expressing gratitude, she acknowledged the role of divine providence, the entire management and staff for their dedicated contributions, key partners for unwavering support, customers for their continual patronage, and family and friends for their prayers. Mrs. Odukoya emphasized that Vanguard Pharmacy Limited remains steadfast in its mission to “create smart health benefits for people to succeed and thrive.”
Mr. Blessing Ojo-Thomas, the Head of Human Resources also added that the Brand remains committed to its top ambitious goal of becoming a top place to work and this reflects in our mission in creating smart health benefits for people to succeed and thrive.
The opening ceremony of the new branch was graced by notable dignitaries, including His Royal Majesty, Oba Rufai Adeleke Odumesi, the Lemo of Ode Lemo, Ogun State; Olori (Alh) Folasade Dumez, wife of Kabiyesi; Rotarian Barr. Kayode Olowolagba, district governor-elect, Rotary District 9150, Osun State; and Dr. Rasaq Akintunde Akindele, executive secretary, Osun State Health Insurance Scheme, among others.